Sharepoint server question

Do you know, off the top of your head, if we can make a sharepoint server and share the documents we currently have – without having to move the documents? All our stuff is local and I think people would like to have it available on via the web but I don’t want to have to move everything.

I have watched several Youtube videos but they haven’t answered that question.

Well, you could probably rig something like that up, even if it doesn't directly support it. But it's a bad idea.

Why? Because then you end up with one server per person, instead of one server. If Jason turns off his machine when he leaves. any documents on that machine disappear until he comes back into the office. If Marcie's computer crashes, you might just lose the documents she had, permanently. If Bob's machine has a network issue, everyone might get to enjoy the problem, as the Sharepoint server struggles to talk with Bob's computer.

The big reason to have a server is to have all your data on highly reliable hardware, in a central location that's easy to back up. If you don't move the files, the major advantages of deploying a server are lost. A server, done properly, is the "put all your eggs in one basket, but WATCH THAT BASKET" school of thought. Compared to the normal wicker of consumer machines, it'll be made of titanium alloy with shock webbing, as well as a second (and maybe third and fourth) basket full of exactly identical eggs, in case you somehow manage to break one.

Sorry, I think I was unclear. All our documents are on a single server but quite honestly we don't have another server with enough space to copy them to!

Everything I have seen about sharepoint so far just talks about setting it up and creating new documents using it not what do do if you already have gigs of documents and want to have them available for staff outside the work LAN.

Sharepoint can serve existing docs but they'd have to live in a Document Library, created by Sharepoint. i.e. you'd have to move all the documents to a new subfolder (on the same server). You can also set the library to require checkout and version control if you want...

If you're that hardware-poor, then you might want to talk to the person doing your budget. You can do a reasonable server with a pair of RAID1 drives for primary storage, and then a singleton drive for backup, for under $1K. Compared to the cost of the people USING it, that's almost nothing. If you can make them even a little more efficient and faster at working, then the machine will pay for itself quite quickly.

This was more of a way for me to increase availability of resources rather than anything someone wants so I doubt the budget master will want to do it but at least know I know.